Dec 7, 2021 - News

Future of Des Moines' tiny village project now uncertain

An illustration of a house with a question mark.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The future of a proposed tiny house village to offer transitional housing to homeless individuals in Des Moines is now up in the air.

Driving the news: Joppa, the nonprofit behind the project, withdrew its offer to purchase property for the 50-home development, according to city documents released Monday.

The big picture: Tiny houses are being used in cities across the U.S. to help reduce homelessness.

State of play: A request to rezone the property at 1661 County Line Road was removed from Monday night's City Council meeting agenda at Joppa's request.

  • Joppa CEO Joe Stevens and his staff did not return Axios' request for comment Monday.

Between the lines: The project had recently stalled after city officials raised questions about the group's finances and structure.

  • Workers and volunteers have also questioned how donor money has been used by the 13-year-old organization, the Des Moines Register reported.

What to watch: Joppa didn't have answers to the city's questions but Des Moines remains open to working with the group, Councilperson Josh Mandelbaum said during Monday's meeting.

  • Des Moines officials believe village supporters will regroup and re-engage with the city about the idea early next year, city spokesperson Al Setka told Axios.
A drawing of a tiny house.
A conceptual drawing of one of the homes proposed for a tiny house village in Des Moines. Screenshot from Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission

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